Kaljulaid's hearing for OECD top job takes place Friday afternoon

President Kersti Kaljulaid.
President Kersti Kaljulaid. Source: Three Seas Initiative

The hearing of President Kersti Kaljulaid who is applying to become the chief executive of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) starts on Friday ( December 11) at 3.30 p.m. and lasts for approximately three hours.

Kaljulaid's competitors have already had their hearings and all lasted for about three hours.

The president's public relations adviser Taavi Linnamäe said three hours is understandable because there are 37 member states and everybody can ask questions.

The process is not public, which means that only the delegates of the member states can participate. What exactly will be asked, the applicant does not know beforehand.

"It will appear during the event what the delegates want to know, but probably the main OECD points will be covered - Estonia's candidate's own priorities, experience, understanding of the institutions' role in the world," Linnamäe said.

Before the hearing, the candidates have presented a vision paper. In the traditional sense, Estonia has not promoted Kaljulaid's candidacy, the candidacy has been discussed in Kaljulaid's own meetings with heads of states and ambassadors at the OECD, and Estonian diplomats have also played their part. €20,000 have been spent on introducing Kaljulaid, Linnamäe noted.

The chief executive will be chosen at the beginning of March. "Since there are a lot of candidates and the OECD's operating logic is consensus-based, filtering will start, which aim is to reach a candidate by the beginning of March,'' Linnamäe explained.

Kaljulaid's competitors for the new OECD head are Christopher Liddell, Adviser to the U.S. President Donald Trump, former Australian Minister of Finance, Mathias Cormann, former European Commissioners, Cecilia Malmström from Sweden and Anna Diamantopoulou from Greece, Vladimir Dlouhy, former Minister of Industry of the Czech Republic, Denmark, Michal Kurtyka, Polish Minister of the Environment, and William Morneau, Canadian Minister of Finance.

The five-year term of the current OECD Secretary-General, Jose Angel Gurria, will end in May 2021. The former Mexican diplomat and economist has worked there since 2006.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

Below you can watch a previous interview with Kaljulaid about her vision for the future of the OECD.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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